FCC OK’s WEA Test by DC Emergency Management Agency Prior to Presidential Inauguration

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The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released an order granting a limited waiver of the Commission’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) rules to allow participating Commercial Mobile Service providers to participate in a WEA test conducted by the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DCHSEMA), in cooperation with the United States Secret Service, the United States Capitol Police, the United States Park Police, the Joint Forces Headquarters national Capitol Region (JFHQ-NCR), and other federal agencies.  The test was conducted on 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2017.  On December 29, 2016, DCHSEMA sent a letter to the FCC requesting a waiver to allow it to test the WEA alert message system as part of a dress rehearsal for the Presidential Inauguration scheduled for Friday, January 20, 2017.  The WEA test message read “This is a test of the District of Columbia Emergency Alert System.  No action is required.”  Typically, the Commission’s rules only allow for WEA functionality tests under limited circumstances and with significant advance notice and stakeholder preparation, but DCHSEMA desired to test the WEA system in the vicinity of the National Mall prior to President Elect Donald J. Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.

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